5536 Woodlawn Ave. N.
Seattle, Washington 98103, USA
Seattle 206.632.3551 (voice)
Hawaii: 808.889.0056 (voice)
What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?
How can we as individuals, communities, and a species
increase our capacity for the higher orders of mindful self-reflection
needed to awaken the depths of wisdom so profoundly necessary for nurturing
the highest potentials in our lives and world?
What is your personal experience of collective
wisdom in groups?
Some of many highlights in my life-work:
Participation in close to three years of silent, contemplative
retreats, including a year-long retreat in 1988. Such retreats offer
a glimpse of how profoundly interwoven our lives-minds are with those
of all living beings and of how powerful and transformative our attentiveness
and prayers can be.
In the late 70s I helped to develop and facilitate
an ongoing research group seeking breakthroughs in creativity and
innovation at Weyerhauser using a highly integral/holistic protocol
of individual and shared visionary and intuitive research that was
augmented by laboratory and field research to test and develop the
product inspirations that came from our group research sessions. We
utilized a similar approach with R&D leaders at Monsanto, and
with the U.S. Army Special Forces, and to a lesser degree have applied
similar approaches with teams in over 200 leading organizations around
the globe over the past 30 years.
As Co-Director (with my wife Michelle) of Biocybernautic
training for the US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) “Ultimate
Warrior Training Program" (aka "Jedi Warrior") we did
extensive training in meditation, cyberphysiology/biofeedback, and
neurofeedback which included a month long silent meditation retreat
and the development and use of a 16 channel EEG synchrony training
system that we used to train up to 16 soldiers to synchronize their
brainwaves~mindstates. This pioneering and at the time secret program
was described by West Point logisticians as, "The most exquisite
orchestration of human technology we have ever seen," and by
Esquire editor George Leonard and Michael Murphy of Esalen Institute
as, "The most extensive leadership development program to be
offered in modern times." (See http://wisdomatwork.com/BUSINESS/inner/index.html
for an overview)
In 1996 my beloved wife Michelle
and I were chairpersons for the 28th annual invitational Council Grove
Conference sponsored by the Menninger Foundation. The theme we chose
for this conference was: The Power of Love and the Coherence of Shared
Consciousness. This conference brought together leading researchers,
artists, and wisdom holders from various modern and ancient traditions
for a profoundly inspiring exploration of our collective wisdom regarding
Michelle and I had a rather extra-ordinary experience
in shared/fused consciousness while we were each in spatially separate
and electromagnetically shielded Faraday cages doing EEG neurofeedback
training, that was “objectively” confirmed with the synchronization
of our EEGs (brainwaves) for the duration of the experience.
With Michelle, I hosted a weekly meditation group
for nearly 20 years as well as three year-long intensive contemplative
inquiry groups. Each of these provided a rare opportunity to explore
many of the dimensions and realities of shared wisdom and the self-reflective
wisdom of groups of individuals.
What is it about the work in this field that excites
you and connects you to your own deepest self?
What most excites me about this work is the faith that
individually and collectively we have access to all the inspiration
we need to fulfill our highest aspirations.
An image that comes to mind is that each of us is like
a localized “island” that appears to be separate, but as
we deepen our discovery of our true nature and highest potentials we
awaken to dimensions of our selves that are profoundly interwoven in
a non-local way with every other I-land—each of whom is rooted
in, and arises out of the same underlying substrate of super-generative
I have been deeply inspired in this work by Einstein’s
quote: "A human being is part of the whole called by us the Universe.
We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separated
from the rest --a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion
is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and
to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free
ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace
all living creatures, and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Also, a piece comes to mind that was published in the
IONS Journal from a talk that Michelle and I offered at an IONS conference:
“Our questions, conscious or unconscious, spoken or unspoken,
individual or collective, are prayers, aspirations, and yearnings that
infallibly organize our attention and, in the most subtle ways, make
us more intuitively receptive to inspiration in whatever forms it may
take. As our understanding of this process deepens, we discover that
we live in a responsive universe. If you drop a little stone in the
pool it sends out and draws back a little wave. If you drop a big stone
in the pool, it sends out and draws back a big wave. The moment there
is a yearning in our hearts or a question in our minds -- consciously
or unconsciously -- there are echoes of information intuitively available
to us. The answer or clues might be revealed in the patterns of a cloud,
in a bird’s song, or by what a person three seats away is saying.
As we learn to listen more deeply—individually and collectively--we
discover that the answers to our question are always here, though generally
speaking our circuits are usually too jammed to hear them. As Ramakrishna
once said, ‘The winds of God's grace are always blowing, but you
must raise your sail.’ The more of us that are able to raise our
sails together, the more likely it is that we will be able to piece
together a higher resolution sense of our collective wisdom.”(This
is also in our book: Living in Balance).
Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of
what brought you to this work.
A whole series of experiences… see # 2 and #3 above.
I have devoted my life to the study of both modern and ancient wisdom
traditions and inner technologies and have been bountifully blessed
to live, work, and study with many of the most respected contemplative
teachers and consciousness researchers of our times. Among those who
have inspired me most deeply on my Journey: His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
Kalu Rinpoche; Zong Rinpoche; Lama Yeshe; Chagdud Rinpoche; Brother
David Steindl-Rast; Reb Schlomo Carlbach; Rina Sircar; William Tiller;
Elmer Green; Duane Elgin; Gregory Bateson; Jean Houston; Ram Dass; Stephen
Levine; Jack Kornfield; Larry Dossey; Bill Arnesen; Robert Hover; W.
Grey Walters; and many others.
How would you like to be available to others in
The greatest passion for me in this work is in working
with teams of researchers or people aspiring to find breakthrough solutions
to the huge challenges facing humanity during these transformational
times. It is my/our experience that groups of individuals with a foundation
of trust, skilled in the practices of generative dialogue, and well
versed in the personal and shared methods for quieting and focusing
their minds in order to intuitively access deeper levels of shared wisdom,
are truly able to tap the reservoirs of inspiration needed to advance
My greatest contribution to this field is in teaching
methods for individually and collectively increasing our capacity for
mindful self-reflection, accessing deeper intuitive wisdom, individually
and collectively, and in weaving that wisdom into forms that can be
communicated, tested, embodied, and applied to creating better lives
and world. My experience on this journey has grounded this work in three
Rigorous laboratory research related to psychophysiology
of consciousness, cyberphysiology, & neurofeedback training, etc.
Intensive study in both modern and ancient wisdom traditions
and inner technologies with many of the most respected contemplative
teachers and consciousness researchers of our times. Taking these
teachings to heart, I have devoted more than two years of my life
to intensive silent contemplative retreats where so many of the noble
and noetic theories and principles could come alive in the core of
Applications of these principles and practices related
to collective wisdom within hundreds of organizations, R&D and
project teams, and communities.
As an offering to our larger community of fellow explorers
on the noetic frontier, Michelle & I steward the Sanctuary at Kohala
Potala, a learning center at Malama Ka’aina Farms in North Kohala
on the Big Island of Hawaii. A vital vision element for The Sanctuary
is hosting gatherings of colleagues engaged in the deep reflection needed
to source a deeper wisdom to guide our lives, work, communities, organizations,
and world. (http://www.wisdomatwork.com/sanctuary).
Yes, I am happy to serve as a resource to fellow explorers
in these boundless fields of inquiry and discovery. Our published works
also offer a wealth of methods and insights that are helpful in this
work. See: http://wisdomatwork.com
Links to this site or others:
Wisdom at Work
The Sanctuary at Kohala Potala
Relaxation Guided Imagery for Stress
Relief and Well-Being
Wisdom and Intelligence at the Northwest Social Forum